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Philly Pen Show 2022


camoandconcrete

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It will be my first pen show since Boston in 2019 and I'm looking forward to it. I'm hoping to pick up one or two nice vintage pieces. I also have a pen that I need a minor cap band repair on and am wondering if it is worth bringing to discuss in person the kind of work for it.

 

Anyone else going to it? What do you hope to find?

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Not me.  In theory I have something else going on that weekend involving my other hobby, but that may be cancelled due to the COVID spike in PA (and a lot of the normal activities were already not happening, like the bardic competition and the cookie contest).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Nope. Not worth the risk.

What a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away. — Doobie Bros

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I would love to go BUT I cannot deal with the risk. Plus there is no indication of vaccination or mask requirements.

 

 Virtuoso aka Steve

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Alas, I had been both planning and looking forward to this one.  Dealing with the snow on my way to and from this show has become pretty much a traditional January activity for me, and I was hoping to slim down some of my collection.  However the health care infrastructure is struggling here in Maryland as well and I'd hate to contribute to that load if I got seriously ill due to my attending.  Hopefully things will have calmed down in time for Baltimore.

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3 hours ago, virtuoso said:

I would love to go BUT I cannot deal with the risk. Plus there is no indication of vaccination or mask requirements.

 

 Virtuoso aka Steve

 

Here is the link for the vaccination and mask requirements: https://phillypenshow.com/covid-19/

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I was really looking forward to going but like the others, find it's not worth the risk. Went to the Chicago show last year (my 1st show) and found it to be a bit tamed down b/c of Covid. I'm pretty surprised that the show is still going on. Same holds true for the LA pen show next month. Grandson's bootcamp graduation ceremony is the weekend after it and was hoping to parlay the pen show w/ the graduation.  Now I'm thinking just going to graduation and heading right back home.

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I'm on the fence with regards to this show, even though I'm very careful and have the booster.

 

I'd like to go, mostly to have the opportunity to try new pens and pick up some parts that I need, plus the fact that I enjoy going through bins.

 

COVID's certainly on my mind, but over the past few days I've read a number of articles indicating that even though the Omicron variant is more contagious (about six times more, by my calculations) than the first strand of the virus and Delta, the infections are markedly milder than those.

 

But then, one doesn't get to pick which variant one picks up so, as Harry Callahan used to say "Do I feel lucky? Do I?"

 

Alex

---------------------------------------------------------

We use our phones more than our pens.....

and the world is a worse place for it. - markh

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I'm also on the fence about the show since starting the thread. On the one hand, I'm excited to go and find some nice Vacs or Balances. But on the other hand, I worry about catching COVID or risking someone else's, or my own, health.

 

I think I'll play it by ear the closer we get to the show.

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16 hours ago, alexwi said:

COVID's certainly on my mind, but over the past few days I've read a number of articles indicating that even though the Omicron variant is more contagious (about six times more, by my calculations) than the first strand of the virus and Delta, the infections are markedly milder than those.

 

I'm just getting over Omicron. I came down with it Thursday or Friday and was diagnosed Saturday using a home kit. I was pretty much over it on Wednesday and today (Friday) I just have a little cough left but otherwise feel fine with good energy (as a baseline, I am 66 years old).  I would describe the experience as similar to a light-to-mild flu, annoying and a little tiring but certainly not incapacitating. Your milage and symptoms may vary, but if you are vaxed and boosted and practice good sanitization then this thing isn't much to fear. You don't want it, but it's not going to kill you. 

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No pen shows for me, I will buy favorite pens if they are made, in new colors, I like.
 
I dream of a bespoke pen.
 
I live in a high contagion area. Always worried, the longer covid lingers, in its many forms... Came across an article about long term effects of the disease, which is not widely talked about. Scary. Then I read the piece below. 
 
A physician's perspective, extremely moving.
Written by Dr. Sayed Tabatabai, a Nephrologist in San Antonio, Tx. 
 
There’s a ghost on the corner of 3rd and Broadway
I noticed him the other day, as I made a left turn at the light.
He wasn’t there a week ago.
He must be new.
Nobody I recognize, but then again, his face is blurry and indistinct.
I look at him now, and I drive past.
Arriving at the hospital, I park my car.
More ghosts here, even in the parking lot.
Some of them stand beside empty cars and look into them wistfully, as if wishing for keys to unlock their escape.
I recognize some of these ghosts.
I look at them now, and I walk past.
The hospital is busier than I can remember it being… ever.
The ER looks like a war zone, hallways filled, ambulances lining up outside.
“Don’t they know we’re on diversion?”
“Who knows man, they came here anyways.”
I grit my teeth and make sure my N95 is tight.
The COVID wards are being reopened, again.
This time, however, it’s different. There’s no sense of imminent danger like there was before.
The feeling of fear has been replaced by a grim inevitability.
Return to work, fast as you can.
You are expendable.
You always were.
It makes me think of World War I and trench warfare.
We keep digging these trenches to nowhere and convincing ourselves everything’s okay, only to hear the whistle again and be given the order to charge.
And so we charge into No Man’s Land, side by side.
Surge by surge.
I get off the elevator at the ICU.
Nowhere in the hospital are there more ghosts than here.
They pace the hallways.
Angry, at the way they died. Disbelieving. Disoriented at how fast it happened. Feeling cheated.
They all want something more.
More than this.
COVID patients are short of breath, again. I’m looking at the same damn chest x-rays, again.
They tell me this is a milder variant.
What does that mean? “Milder?”
Can you please sit down and explain it to the ghost outside that room over there?
That it was only “mild”?
Oh I get it. I understand the stats, and the low likelihood of serious illness.
I get all of that.
I just don’t see it.
I see another full hospital.
I. Am. So. Sick. Of. This.
All that remains of me is raw exposed nerves, and deadened scar tissue, in equal measure.
I don’t understand why some events leave such a collective mark on our psyche, while others we’re supposed to just let slip away.
800,000 people dead and counting.
We aren’t equipped to grieve on that scale. But we can, we should, acknowledge it instead of pushing past.
That’s all so many of these ghosts want.
Acknowledgment.
One of my last patients of the day is also my sickest.
This is a pattern I have seen many times before: lungs too ravaged to salvage, multi-organ failure, kidneys struggling to maintain their beloved homeostasis.
As I look at them through the glass door of their room, the plastic protective isolation sheets make their face blurry and indistinct.
I confer with the intensivist and the cardiologist.
We all agree, there’s not much left to offer, besides comfort.
The end is inevitable.
I write my note and leave before the family arrives. Normally I would stick around for this conversation, but today I leave it to the intensivist.
There is a gravity in the presence of death and dying that exerts a palpable force.
I can only be exposed to it for so long.
As I walk along the ICU hallway, I notice that the ghosts are gone.
They tend to clear out when Death makes its way through, stopping outside its assigned room.
In a detached part of my mind I can hear the sobbing of a family in the consultation room.
Weeping in unison.
Back in the elevator, I close my eyes and breathe deeply.
Almost everyone I see these days tells me I look tired.
Time off helps, but it’s a temporary salve. My writing helps, again, only temporary.
Gotta get to the root of it all.
Where the ghosts live.
I can’t today.
At the end of the day I head back to the parking lot.
As I walk, I remember a conversation I had earlier in the day.
“Did you know in some languages the words for “tomorrow” and for “yesterday” are the same?”
Time is a circle.
We only perceive the direction of its flow.
A time will come, after COVID, when our society will need us to rely on each other to do the right thing again.
There’s a ghost on the corner of 3rd and Broadway
I noticed him the other day, as I turned at the light.
He wasn’t there a week ago.
He won’t be gone tomorrow.

Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

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My wife and I will be going. We are both vaccinated.   I have been collecting pens for decades but have never been to a pen show. 

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A cost benefit analysis by me indicates a no go.

 

Negatives that would occur if I attended:

 

Relatively high cost to attend compared to other pen shows due to higher Hotel, parking, admission and food costs than other shows I have attended and hope to attend later this year. 
 

Negatives which might occur which have happened to me crossing PA before in Winter: Snow in the mountains causing an extra overnight stay in a Hotel somewhere in the mountains, loss of time due to said snow and extra meal costs related to extra travel time.


Negatives which might occur: inability to receive needed medical care due to Hospitals being clogged with people sick with Covid-19. Actually getting Covid-19 and getting sick and getting a large bill for care, doing the same, but not being around for the bill due having died.

 

And the clincher: the Philly show is a rather small show and may be even smaller this year due to vendors choosing not to attend. This projection based upon the two shows I attended last year which both had significantly fewer vendors than they typically do.

 

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On the other hand maybe the vendors will be desperate and I'll find a great pen at a nice price? 

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On 1/10/2022 at 6:18 PM, Richardtractorguy said:

On the other hand maybe the vendors will be desperate and I'll find a great pen at a nice price? 

Maybe, I know someone who was set up in Philly when the big snow hit a few years ago. He said that there were very few customers who made it through and he sold little.

 

The thing to keep in mind is while there are many different kinds of vendors that set up at pen shows, few if any of them fall into the category of itinerant merchant. Many are professionals who set up as a hobby, some are Retired who set up to sell to support their hobby, or sell extra pens as they don’t want to leave the clearing out of their collection to heirs, plus they might want to have some fun with the extra spending money sales generate. Then there are the professional sellers you see from show to show, not many, but some and the shops, some primarily on line, some not. Add in the hobby pen makers and occasionally the professional pen makers and finally the manufacturer representatives. A great bunch, but not many trying to get enough cash for gas and food to go home.

 

I have gotten some good prices towards the end of shows, but not incredible bargains. Those I have gotten in the wild from dealers at general antique and collectible shows who didn’t know what they were selling.

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Thanks Parker51. My comment was more joking than serious. I have been to many coin shows but never a pen show. I am very excited to attend the Philly show! I have imagined the pen show like a coin show. No one is going to sell me a 1933 St Gaudens for $1000.  Likewise I don't expect to find a Monblanc 149 Calligraphy for $900. But it will be fun looking! 

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5 hours ago, Richardtractorguy said:

Thanks Parker51. My comment was more joking than serious. I have been to many coin shows but never a pen show. I am very excited to attend the Philly show! I have imagined the pen show like a coin show. No one is going to sell me a 1933 St Gaudens for $1000.  Likewise I don't expect to find a Monblanc 149 Calligraphy for $900. But it will be fun looking! 

Well the world of antiques and collectibles is a world many people are familiar with due to television, guide books and markets which seem

to spring up almost anywhere.
 

That world has a lot of “ wheelers and dealers”, basically people with limited funds, a bit of knowledge and the hope to bargain with you for the best price of something they are guessing at the value of.
 

At pen shows you simply don’t get that type of person very often. Pen sellers typically know what they are selling because they educated themselves in regard to what they were buying because they typically start out first as pen collectors. 
 

There are some dealers who have other backgrounds, but those generally are retail sales backgrounds and they treat pens in a professional manner as an extension of whatever else they previously sold.
 

Put bluntly, few hunter/ pickers ever set up at a pen show because they don’t have enough merchandise to sell to set up. They will and do set up at flea markets, general antique and collectible markets and sometimes have booths in antique and collectible malls. Places a few pens can be sold along with everything else they found when buying out a house or they picked up at auctions, yard sales and thrift shops. 
 

It would be understandable for a person who has gone to antique shows to assume a pen show was like an antique show, but with pens, pencils, ink, lead, related ephemera, etc. and they would be correct as far as the merchandise but not the dealers, so the idea that you can bargain hard on the face of it makes sense, but given the reality of who is doing the selling you can’t. 

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19 hours ago, Parker51 said:

At pen shows you simply don’t get that type of person very often. Pen sellers typically know what they are selling because they educated themselves in regard to what they were buying because they typically start out first as pen collectors. 

The flip side of course, is that buyers often have educated themselves as well.  I spent one show going to every vendor who had a sterling Silver Parker 75 in the Ciséle design, asking what the differences were in prices (early flat top vs. later, US production vs. French, etc.  I didn't end up getting one at the show, but I felt comfortable enough to then look at the listings on eBay (by the time I got back to the tables where the less expensive ones were at the show, they were of course gone).  I paid maybe a bit more than I might have -- but I still think I did well with the one I did buy (and it wasn't that much more (before tax and shipping) than the one I'd seen the previous winter at an estate sale (I just didn't know enough at the time to know if the price of that one was fair or not -- turned out it was, but I think I got a more interesting nib, and the pen had the old style converter already installed -- so an extra bonus.  And weirdly, I got that pen for the minimum bid because towards the end of the auction I realized that nobody was watching that listing but me.... :huh:  As opposed the previous one I bid on, where I had dropped out early on because of the frenzy of bidding; the price went through the roof and I watched the end of that first going "Okay, what am I missing?  Or is it that a couple of bidders got into a war over it?"  

As for pen shows, I would describe most of the ones I've been to as a combination of a trade show, an antiques fair, and a swap meet.  Really big shows I've been to (DC Supershow, before they moved to the current location) lean more towards the first; really small shows (like the Commonwealth Show just outside Boston) is more like the last.  The others I have been have been somewhere in between.

Mind you, this is all one person's experience.  I have been to about six different shows (a couple only once each -- and haven't been to DCSS in at least five or six years).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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On 1/8/2022 at 1:24 PM, Anne-Sophie said:
No pen shows for me, I will buy favorite pens if they are made, in new colors, I like.
 
I dream of a bespoke pen.
 
I live in a high contagion area. Always worried, the longer covid lingers, in its many forms... Came across an article about long term effects of the disease, which is not widely talked about. Scary. Then I read the piece below. 
 
A physician's perspective, extremely moving.
Written by Dr. Sayed Tabatabai, a Nephrologist in San Antonio, Tx. 
 
There’s a ghost on the corner of 3rd and Broadway
I noticed him the other day, as I made a left turn at the light.
He wasn’t there a week ago.
He must be new.
Nobody I recognize, but then again, his face is blurry and indistinct.
I look at him now, and I drive past.
Arriving at the hospital, I park my car.
More ghosts here, even in the parking lot.
Some of them stand beside empty cars and look into them wistfully, as if wishing for keys to unlock their escape.
I recognize some of these ghosts.
I look at them now, and I walk past.
The hospital is busier than I can remember it being… ever.
The ER looks like a war zone, hallways filled, ambulances lining up outside.
“Don’t they know we’re on diversion?”
“Who knows man, they came here anyways.”
I grit my teeth and make sure my N95 is tight.
The COVID wards are being reopened, again.
This time, however, it’s different. There’s no sense of imminent danger like there was before.
The feeling of fear has been replaced by a grim inevitability.
Return to work, fast as you can.
You are expendable.
You always were.
It makes me think of World War I and trench warfare.
We keep digging these trenches to nowhere and convincing ourselves everything’s okay, only to hear the whistle again and be given the order to charge.
And so we charge into No Man’s Land, side by side.
Surge by surge.
I get off the elevator at the ICU.
Nowhere in the hospital are there more ghosts than here.
They pace the hallways.
Angry, at the way they died. Disbelieving. Disoriented at how fast it happened. Feeling cheated.
They all want something more.
More than this.
COVID patients are short of breath, again. I’m looking at the same damn chest x-rays, again.
They tell me this is a milder variant.
What does that mean? “Milder?”
Can you please sit down and explain it to the ghost outside that room over there?
That it was only “mild”?
Oh I get it. I understand the stats, and the low likelihood of serious illness.
I get all of that.
I just don’t see it.
I see another full hospital.
I. Am. So. Sick. Of. This.
All that remains of me is raw exposed nerves, and deadened scar tissue, in equal measure.
I don’t understand why some events leave such a collective mark on our psyche, while others we’re supposed to just let slip away.
800,000 people dead and counting.
We aren’t equipped to grieve on that scale. But we can, we should, acknowledge it instead of pushing past.
That’s all so many of these ghosts want.
Acknowledgment.
One of my last patients of the day is also my sickest.
This is a pattern I have seen many times before: lungs too ravaged to salvage, multi-organ failure, kidneys struggling to maintain their beloved homeostasis.
As I look at them through the glass door of their room, the plastic protective isolation sheets make their face blurry and indistinct.
I confer with the intensivist and the cardiologist.
We all agree, there’s not much left to offer, besides comfort.
The end is inevitable.
I write my note and leave before the family arrives. Normally I would stick around for this conversation, but today I leave it to the intensivist.
There is a gravity in the presence of death and dying that exerts a palpable force.
I can only be exposed to it for so long.
As I walk along the ICU hallway, I notice that the ghosts are gone.
They tend to clear out when Death makes its way through, stopping outside its assigned room.
In a detached part of my mind I can hear the sobbing of a family in the consultation room.
Weeping in unison.
Back in the elevator, I close my eyes and breathe deeply.
Almost everyone I see these days tells me I look tired.
Time off helps, but it’s a temporary salve. My writing helps, again, only temporary.
Gotta get to the root of it all.
Where the ghosts live.
I can’t today.
At the end of the day I head back to the parking lot.
As I walk, I remember a conversation I had earlier in the day.
“Did you know in some languages the words for “tomorrow” and for “yesterday” are the same?”
Time is a circle.
We only perceive the direction of its flow.
A time will come, after COVID, when our society will need us to rely on each other to do the right thing again.
There’s a ghost on the corner of 3rd and Broadway
I noticed him the other day, as I turned at the light.
He wasn’t there a week ago.
He won’t be gone tomorrow.

Excellent poem of a terrible situation.

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If anyone goes today, please post your experience. I plan to go tomorrow (Saturday). I will go either way - but wanted to get a sense for the show.

 

Thanks in advance

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